TWO Warrnambool and District Cricket Association sides are through to the Sungold Cup final four after in-form batsmen led them to victory at the quarter-final stage.
Nestles' Geoff Williams made an unbeaten 53 in the Factory's five-wicket win against Pomborneit and Port Fairy's Jason Perera finished 40 not out in the Pirates' seven-wicket victory over Tyrendarra on Sunday.
The Factory's Matt Price (3-8) and Pirate Niahl Dwyer (4-10) were destructive with the ball for their respective sides.
The two teams will play each other in the inter-association's semi-finals at Allansford on Australia Day.
Nestles captain Jacob Hetherington and Port Fairy coach Brian Medew said playing in the $15,000-to-win tournament was a thrill.
"We haven't played in the Sungold Cup for a while now and with the group we have, we have gelled well and we enjoy playing with each other and when we're winning as well, it's even better," Hetherington said.
Medew said the Pirates - the WDCA twenty20 champions - were excited to be in the running for the Sungold Cup title.
"It's handy money," he said of the winner's cheque.
"The guys from Sungold were there early this morning already (for the quarter-finals) getting the t-shirts done.
"It's really well organised and I have to take my hat off to them. It's a really big show to try and get this off the ground and we're really happy to be part of it on Thursday."
Hetherington said Williams and Price were standout performers against Pomborneit, a powerhouse side in the South West Cricket competition.
He said Williams, who has made 547 runs across all formats this summer, was "in career-best form".
"It was a slow wicket and they had some medium pacers and I think we struggled to find pace off the ball," Hetherington said.
"We had 'Wiz' to knock it around for a bit and keep the target in close to us and then had batters pitch in between him and that just got us over the line which was fantastic."
Hetherington said Price's pace proved important.
"He came out and bowled as fast as he can and he really changed the game and opened it up for us because they (Pomborneit) had a really good start - I think they were 0-41 - and he came on and bowled an over, got three wickets.
"It was a game-changing spell."
Medew said Dwyer's bowling spell was crucial in Port Fairy's win.
"He took an amazing caught-and-bowled catch down low," he said.
"He bowled really tight. I wouldn't underrate him because he's gone to another level since we've started this short form."
Port Fairy was on the back foot early in its run chase, losing three wickets for 32 runs including in-form openers Max Green and Aaron Williams.
Enter Perera and Murray Staude (21).
"Jason came in and controlled the game and Murray played a really good innings around him," he said.
"It was pretty pleasing in that aspect that a few other guys had to stand up for us."
Irrewarra defeated Swifts-Great Western in the quarter-final stage to progress too.
Ryan Mulder was the best of Irrewarra's bowlers with 3-13 while Kaden Beckett top-scored with 39.
College also progressed after a 30-run win against West Gambier.
Hamish Bailey top-scored for the Hamilton-based College, making 45, while Lachie Brown (4-21) and Henry Bensch (3-10) were important with the ball.
The Sungold Cup semi-finals and grand final are at Allansford on Thursday as is WDCA's under 17 boys' twenty20 decider.
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